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article imageCanada's Rover Parking launches boat parking this summer Special

By Karen Graham     Apr 25, 2019 in Technology
Toronto - With summer just around the corner, Canada's Rover Parking - the Airbnb of parking - is launching a boat parking service. Digital Journal talked with Rover's founder and CEO, Grant Brigden to find out more about this "fun idea."
After being named the top IoT startup in 2017 at INFINITI LAB Toronto Demo Day, Rover Parking was fast-tracked into a three-month development program in Hong Kong, and the rest is history for the company.
The company provides shared peer-to-peer automobile parking in the form of a free app for mobile and Android phones. The app's appeal is simple. Rover allows individuals or businesses that have driveways or parking spaces that sit empty for hours on end, to share those spaces for a fee, resulting in some quick extra cash in hand.
Wanting to know how the company has progressed since opening, and of course, being curious about boat parking, Digital Journal spoke with Rover's owner, Grant Brigden on Thursday, April 25.
Grant Brigden - Rover founder
Grant Brigden - Rover founder
Digital Journal: Grant, fill me in on what has been happening over the past couple of years. And is there an update on getting into sensor technology?
Grant Brigden: Rover Parking is talking with several suppliers of smart parking solutions, including the use of sensors, embedded into the pavement or cameras mounted on light poles or building structures. One idea, in particular, sounds promising. It involves using a platform like Google Maps that will let a driver know when they are close to a parking spot by emitting a few pings.
Digital Journal: How do businesses and homeowners know when a driver is parking in a space they have advertised?
Grant Brigden: That's a good question. When a driver logs on to their Rover app from their smartphone, they can find a parking spot near where they plan on going. If they decide to take that spot, the information is sent to the person or business offering the space. The whole transaction takes place immediately.
This way, someone parking in a parking pace knows they will not be ticketed for illegal parking. We have also made progress with condo-parking after presenting our app to condo boards and property management companies. the Rover app will now allow condo owners to rent out their parking spaces to drivers needing a place to park. This move requires the use of key fob access.
Most condo owners have to rent a parking space, while many may not have a vehicle. But having an unused parking spot allows condo owners to make some money on what would otherwise be an unused spot. We are also in talks with developers over the use of these "untraditional" parking spots. We are also exploring the need for charging stations for electric vehicles, especially as EV use in increasing.
Rover Parking Named Top IoT Startup at INFINITI LAB Toronto Demo Day
Pictured (from left-to-right):...
Rover Parking Named Top IoT Startup at INFINITI LAB Toronto Demo Day Pictured (from left-to-right): Grant Brigden and Tim Wootton of Rover Parking
INFINITI LAB Toronto Demo Day
Digital Journal: Tell me all about your boat parking. I see you plan to open this service on June 1, on Lake Simcoe, in the town of Innisfil. Will this be the only place for the service?
Grant Brigden: It's a fun idea, basically. And Innisfil is a great place to start this service. Lake Simcoe is a very popular destination for summer outings. The area often sees visitors in the thousands on weekends in the summer. And in the winter, Lake Simcoe is probably the most popular place to go for ice-fishing.
So we have a Rover Parking service in partnership with the town because of the limited number of parking spaces close to the lake. With the boat parking service, it’s simply going to create a much more fun and relaxed environment for all those out on the water and we’re extremely happy to be working with the town of Innisfil to make this happen.
In the Greater Toronto Area, we have 10 to 15 marinas around Lake Ontario and during the season, parking spaces are usually filled up. But there is a need for additional parking spots for vehicles and especially for boats. With the Rover Parking app, boat parking on Lake Ontario could accommodate a 20 percent increase in watercraft.
acksons Point on Lake Simcoe in Barrie  Canada
acksons Point on Lake Simcoe in Barrie, Canada
Vlad P (CC BY 3.0)
Digital Journal: Tell me, Grant, how did you get into developing this parking app?
Grant Brigden: I have a marketing background having worked lead marketing roles with a number of companies in the past and I also worked through the boom in Silicon Valley, California for over seven years. In the states, there is a reality program called "Shark Tank." Here in Canada, we have a similar program called the Dragon's Den. I took my idea for a mobile app based social sharing concept all the way to the Dragons’ Den.
I came up with the idea for Rover Parking after noticing on my walks to the subway that there were no parking spots available on the streets. But I also realized that people had empty driveways all over the place. So that's when sharing parking spaces started to take form.
More about Rover parking, Ontario canada, boat parking, Innisfil, airBnB of parking
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